Can the warm be far behind?

It's a wind chill of minus 7, and only expected to get to 16 F here in the balmy south. The Canadiens have generously shared their polar temps with us, and I'm taking advantage of it to make some frozen paintings. While I psych myself up for sub-freezing fun, I'm taking respite in a little bit of painting summer. Joy 11x14 watercolor on 100% cotton paper

Early wild Iris

Walked out by my little pond and a spot of blue caught my eye. What the? Oh my gosh! Spring is here. I know because my wild iris are starting to peep out and bloom. I'm seeing a ginormous painting here. Can't wait!  
Wild Blue

Yellowstone National Park and the Magpie, Stage 2

As you can see, I've manipulated the background a little bit, add more definition and color to the post, and best of all, started laying color into the Magpie's feathers.  The challenge here is to keep the intensity of the colors under control (but there's always time to tone things down) while letting the brilliance of sage and Indian tea shine through. Even though it's January, and pretty darn chilly, the flower spikes are still in place, and lend a wonderful warmth to the image.  I'm pretty happy about how this is shaping up!  

Yellowstone National Park and the Magpie, Stage 1

Some years ago I visited Yellowstone National Park with a friend.  It was January.  We sat in the river in a hot spring and basically enjoyed 104 degree water in the midst of 26 degree air.  Back in the parking lot, I photographed a magpie enjoying the sunshine. I've cherished those photos all this time and finally I decided it was time to put the Magpie onto paper.  Only it's not paper!  It's Yupo.  Yupo is polypropylene, and the paint doesn't penetrate it but sits on the surface.  The result is an even more striking painting for luminescence and transparency. My readers seem to like my progression photographs, so I have decided to show another painting that is in progress. In this iteration you can see how I've begun to lay down the background color and start to push it around.  Looks a bit shall we say, bright, doesn't it?  I have faith that things will settle out in the end.

Easing into Summer, Geraniums on the deck

Oh, hot today! About 103F, with a humidity making it about 110 or so. One of my crazy dogs dug in under the deck next to the house, and when we lost power around 3:30 p.m. I didn't know whether to panic or not. But then I remembered the camper van. Went out, started up the gennie, and switched on the a/c unit. Ahhhh, life is good! Anyhow, these were painted at around 10 this morning in a patch of shade. I'm pleased with how they came out. Easing into Summer 6x6 oil on linen; $65 unframed, or $110 framed.